Gian-Carlo Carra’s $100,000 “high-level rendering”

OK, it is hardly news when Gian-Carlo Carra and other members of the Flakey Four on Calgary city council waste the tax dollars and time of Calgarians. It is no shock that Carra want’s to transform a portion of his ward into some unpronounceable European modelled walkway at the expense of automotive infrastructure.

Gian-Carlo Carra has really outdone himself this time though when he went begging to city council for $100,000 to study this inane proposal a year ago and we are now presented with the “high-level rendering” below.



Yes, $100,000 and one year to create drawings that look like they were done by a 6 year old.

The rest of the “high-level” renderings can be found in a Metro article here. The quality and depth rivals the picture above.

Simple words such as “picnic” apparently are beyond the spelling ability of these folks doing this fine study and they depict nude sunbathers in the pictures too (not well drawn unfortunately).

There really is little more to be said about this. It is just another gross example of finite city of Calgary tax dollars being wasted on the whimsical notions of a city councillor. I really wonder what the tendering process is (if any) to do these six figure studies that take a year to draw stick people.

Just wanted to document this beauty so people have yet another thing to point at when Nenshi and his Flakey Four allies on Calgary city council (Druh Farrell, Brian Pincott, Evan Woolley and of course Gian-Carlo Carra) try to claim that we need to keep imposing record high property tax increases as there simply is no waste to be cut in city hall.

Going Postal! Brian Pincott burning tax dollars in Calgary to fight progress.


As we see Calgary’s city council pleading poverty while they slam Calgary with year after year of record tax and fee increases, we also see council members pissing tax dollars down the drain on pointless pet projects and studies.

It is old news that Canada Post will be eliminating door to door home delivery in the very near future. The crown corporation has been bleeding red ink as the demand for home letter mail withers away due to advancements in modern communications. Just as pasteurization and modern refrigeration removed the need for a milk-man to deliver dairy products to our doors, the internet has eliminated the need to have a person deliver mail to our doors. Bill payments are predominantly automated and communications are now electronic.

Canada Post began moving towards community mail boxes rather than home delivery 30 years ago. Most of Calgary’s new districts have never had home mail delivery and they are served perfectly fine in getting their junk mail at nearby community boxes. It is a proven means of mail delivery and there really is little need to study further.

But wait!!! Who is this White Knight riding to the rescue of the fast-disappearing unionized postal carrier??


Yes, it is none other than Calgary city councillor Brian Pincott. Pincott has a well-earned reputation as a fool who loves to waste tax dollars on things outside of council jurisdiction such as wasting countless dollars trying to  ban types of soup. Pincott also wants to ban homeowners from cutting their own trees or having fire pits and wants to tell you what kind of lights you can turn on. I guess we should not be surprised when we see that Pincott wants to try to protect an utterly obsolete line of work. Perhaps Brian will spend tax dollars studying Calgary’s loss of blacksmiths next.

What Pincott is proposing is to use city bureaucracy to waste time and money to try and hold up Canada Post as they try to establish their community mailboxes. From the CBC article on it: “He wants a community consultation process developed and a report back to a council committee by this December.”

What is to study? What is to report? This type of delivery has been used for decades. There is nothing that a new process will uncover here. This is nothing more than a stall tactic.

Pincott has to know that the evolution away from home mail delivery is inevitable. I am sure Pincott is well aware that this is utterly outside of the jurisdiction of city council. Pincott loves to call for all sorts of studies and consultations so he has to be well aware that these things cost untold millions to taxpayers cumulatively. Why then is Brian Pincott pursuing this foolishness?

The answer is simple. Brian Pincott is propped up by union support. Pincott was very strongly contested in the 2013 election. He needs to maintain whatever support that he has. What Pincott is essentially doing is pissing away untold thousands of taxpayers dollars on a move that is utterly futile in order to kiss the collective asses of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Be assured that the CUPW will likely toss a nice healthy contribution towards Pincott’s next campaign and encourage their mail-monkeys en-masse to help knock on doors for him.

Getting back to why the City of Calgary is constantly hiking taxes, when there are unprincipled councillors like Brian Pincott tossing around  and wasting tax dollars like that, how can we be surprised? Be happy taxpayers! We all just donated to Pincott’s next campaign!

Let’s put the last paragraph first.

I can’t count the number of times that people upon hearing some of the real facts from the energy industry say: “Well, why doesn’t the energy industry communicate all that good stuff to people better.”.

Shy of hiring people to scream facts on city streetcorners, I am not sure what the hell else industry can do. The vast majority of the energy industry works within and often surpasses environmental regulations of all levels of government. Sites are reclaimed and bonds are posted for new sites and facilities reclamation down the road. Proactive studies and techniques are constantly being used to further mitigate environmental impact and with great success. These things are advertised, local hearings are held everywhere, press releases are issued and people are invited to visit energy sites and facilities to see things for themselves. Despite all that, it seems like the energy industry is screaming into the wind.

Now below I will go into some of the horsecrap that the energy industry has to deal with in trying to protect it’s reputation.

In today’s Edmonton Journal there was a story with the headline:

Oilsands research confirmed: Snow contaminated near operations, says federal report.

Oh dear! Whatever shall we do? The article then goes on to point out:

“analyzed winter snow and found that contamination levels were “highest near oilsands development compared to further away,”

Wow! They discovered that there is more oilsands stuff in the snow near the oilsands than there is farther away from the oilsands. Sorry but that is a little less than profound kids.

Yes though, contaminant buildup was found in the snow near oilsands facilities. When phrased right, that can sound rather scary. But wait, lets look at the last paragraph of the article:

“The Environment Canada document also said that substances found in the study were typical of development of all kinds and can even be found in the snow in cities with no heavy industry, but they were continuing their work.”

To put this in other words, nothing unusual or dangerous has been found in the study of the snow in the area. It has the same stuff in it as anybody’s own back yard.

The article also included a picture of a fish with a tumour that was caught downstream of the oilsands as can be seen below.

Yes, that is indeed one ugly tumour. Bear in mind that fish can and do develop tumours without exposure to oilsands as well.

Lets see what the article had to say about the water and fish:

“researchers had tested the toxicity of the Athabasca River water in the spring of 2010 with negative results, and also that no link was established between levels of contaminants found and any effect on fish.”

So in other words, the picture of the fish has utterly no bearing on the article at all aside from trying to make what is essentially an article highlighting a study that found no outstanding environmental devastation around the oilsands.

The article also tries to imply that some sort of gag order has been released on the study. All I see really is indications of efforts to get a controlled message of the study outcomes. That is not unusual. Press plans are common and it is best to have a consistent message. No conspiracy here.

I understand that it is tough to write articles that interest people. It would be more principled to bury a boring report on an environmental study than to mess with one like this to imply that there is an environmental catastrophe happening in Alberta’s oilsands when there simply is not one.

It is just getting tiresome trying to keep up facts to counter the endless and poorly sourced bullshit being spread about Alberta’s energy industry. I do wish some elements of our media would step up a little better on this.